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YMMV / Soul Eater: Troubled Souls

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Beware of unmarked spoilers.


  • Accidental Innuendo: In Chapter 12, Soul and Harvar say “Two Ds aren't something to be proud of.” Um, sometimes they are...
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
  • Arc Fatigue:
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    • The Joint Resonance Training Arc feels like it drags on. This is possibly because the Character Focus shifts around a lot, and there’s no real threat like the arcs it is sandwiched between.
    • The Cobra Island Arc has a case. During its run, the author took much longer to dish out chapters than usual, and the arc itself is the longest of the fic so far. Now that it has been wrapped up, whether the fatigue remains now that you can read it without delay is up to debate.
  • Ass Pull: In Act 2 Chapter 5, it is revealed Ponera gave Killbell a notebook full of info on everyone important in Paraponera because he's forgetful, which Maka takes after she defeats him. Possibilities aside, the notebook seems to have been clumsily added in so the heroes wouldn't be going around in circles while Paraponera acts unopposed.
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  • Audience-Alienating Premise: The extensive usage of Original Characters. Do they help flesh out the Soul Eater universe? Are they interesting and not like most OCs? Are there too many (and still counting)? Do they take away too much focus from the canon characters? And that doesn’t even get into the individuals OCs themselves. Regardless, the expansion of the Soul Eater universe and what the fic does to the canon characters usually would’ve had many more readers flocking to it.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Following a massive editing and restructuring completed on 4/6/2015, the first 24 chapters of the story experience a general improvement in quality compared to beforehand. Other than generals fixes in grammar and diction to make things less clunky and awkward, scenes and lines are also moved around or changed for better flow and to underline plot relevance (e.g. the lecture about Demon Tools went from a waste of words to establishing continuity and revealing that Kid has BREW with him). Dates are made easier to follow, and treatment of characters is addressed (e.g. Caius is less Wangsty thanks to the removal of offending moments). This includes focusing on Cancer and other villains like Soriano and Kujira/Neptune to establish their characters earlier on.
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  • Cliché Storm: The Introduction Arc feels like this. It features an Original Character with a preference for working by himself that is the Last of His Kind through genocide and seeks revenge against the killer. His partner is a haughty rich girl with a fangirl crush on Soul. The former’s Character Development revolves around him learning to trust others again through the Power of Friendship.
  • Complete Monster: Medusa Gorgon is just as bad as she is canonically. In the past, she coerced Crona into murdering a helpless old man and later an Evil Human implied to be Crona’s father. Surviving her supposed end in the anime's Baba Yaga Castle invasion by splitting her soul, she usurps the body of a pauper "nobody cares about", formulates her plan of action behind the scenes, and later becomes an early Arc Villain. She infiltrated the peaceful Yufahla Village and kidnapped a young woman named Krysa, killing her mother in the process. She brainwashed Krysa and used outlawed magic on Atlas to enhance her subterfuge, uncaring of the details or consequences. Lastly, Medusa gets her younger sister, Shaula, involved, and her treatment of her is no different. When Shaula fails to destroy Death Weapon Meister Academy from the inside, Medusa betrays her and tries to claim her soul to power up Ouroboros. It fails, but by then she has already ushered Maka Albarn and her friends to Cobra Island through a fake mission. Despite neither party knowing each other, she also has Caius, Claudia, the Ricardsens, and the Ardsens brought along and treats them with the same cruelty as the people she knows. To make matters worse, those innocent people literally could have been anyone else. As they advance, Ouroboros removes a power or characteristic that effectively renders the person useless; Medusa figures that out by forcing them to play rigged games. Remorseless and reveling in everyone’s suffering, Medusa wanted revenge and to control Madness itself so she could Take Over the World.
  • Crazy Awesome: Tsuji Ricardsen. His solution to being trapped in the middle of an active minefield? Sprint through it and run fast enough to outrun all of the explosions! The same scene also implies his mother, Rosalind, may have Crazy Awesome, too.
  • Fridge Horror:
    • Marcellus reacts frenzied and horrified when Kim gets shot (well, blasted) in Chapter 12. It’s so bad that, when the scene replays in his mind, he hears gunshots and police sirens along with it. In the same chapter, he mentions that his sense of empathy is “screwy.” It’s revealed in Chapter 24 and Saeculum that he’s apart of a powerful gang and is supposed to be their next leader. All this implies that, despite his personality and temperament, Marcellus may have shot people in the past.
    • Did Parental Neglect alone really cause Nayumi to be that jaded? Or does the rabbit hole go a bit deeper than that...?
  • Fridge Logic: A small part of Caius's backstory which extends to the main plot. The Vladinghams are supposed to be an eminent Legacy Family that was rendered nigh-extinct just two years before the events of the fic. Yet, evidently, nobody knows who Caius is during the first two arcs unless they're an adult. Though the Hand Wave is that he actively stayed low-key and in the background, he doesn't even bother changing his last name. Even worse, later on, Maka and Claudia express knowledge of his family, though the former at least said she researched the Vladingham Family. If they're so famous, how come seemingly nobody from Caius's generation knows about them? Especially the ones who have been at the school longer than two years. You'd think at least someone would've heard "Vladingham" in passing.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • The Cobra Island Arc is honestly where the story gets really good. It breaks the somewhat formulaic nature of the story by introducing none other than Medusa, whose role is to do the same thing as she did in canon: make things darker and more dramatic. She puts many of the characters in unfamiliar situations and uses her cunning to make sure things keep going her way all throughout Cobra Island. Characters are put through situations that reveal the depth of their personalities and forced to make decisions or come to realizations. Revelations are dropped, backgrounds are revealed, and relationships deepen. Not to mention, the battles are more intense and have higher stakes. It's all capped off with a satisfying conclusion.
    • The Chicago Gang Arc takes what the previous one did and runs with it. If Cobra Island made things more intense and dramatic, so did the Chicago Gang Arc, as well as chronicling massive emotional developments. It also addresses the Myth Arc and focuses on a few unaddressed characters (mostly villains) to give the story more depth overall.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: People asking if Claudia could even fight becomes this when it’s revealed that the DWMA wasn’t even her first choice for school. She wanted to be a ballerina but got kicked out of her old school. So, unlike most of the students who were dead-set on fighting for their lives from the get-go, Claudia was less fortunate and probably couldn’t catch up.
  • Iron Woobie: Caius Vladingham. He is the unfortunate sole survivor of a massacre perpetuated by Cancer Lucrenian. In short, his life literally goes from great to terrible in one day. His friends and family are all gone now, and he was displaced from Rozniak, his homeland, by the Academy to ensure his survival and care. When he decides to become a Meister and get stronger to bring Cancer to justice (read: get revenge), he takes Cancer's harrowing words and threats at face value, electing to keep everyone at arm's length and making no attempts at socializing in what he believes was an exercise in altruism. Even after two years, the Vladingham Massacre still has a profound effect on him. He’s an antisocial loner to a certain degree, a far cry from the social, reservedly happy boy before the tragedy. However, he chooses to quietly bear his pain, bide his time, and resolves to keep fighting no matter what, even shown to aid people he deems even less fortunate than himself at the Soup Kitchen.
  • It Was His Sled: Medusa is alive and is the Arc Villain behind Cobra Island. It doesn’t help that one of the chapter titles has her name in it. Her name and involvement with the plot at hand are inconsistently spoiler-tagged everywhere.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • In-universe, Medusa crossed this long time ago and is old news. But for the Original Characters, they're made aware of her true evilness when she brags to them, through Krysa, she will make them suffer through her rigged Deadly Games and hopes the Academy will collapse on itself.
    • Cancer likely crossed it in the past with the Vladingham Family Massacre. She commits genocide solely out of Revenge and racism.
    • Soriano for ordering and orchestrating the hit on Marcellus and Morgan. The latter in particularly is poignant because she's sick and dying. Yet, he personally torments and tries to kill her. He is the direct cause of her Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Narm: Cancer's Magical Incantation is "Crustacean crustaceous". Not very mystical, cool, or badass for someone like her.
  • Narm Charm: After Noel explains why Marcellus left, the crew pays tribute to his decision by... eating his lollipops. If Marcellus wasn't the subject, the scene would've fell flat.
  • Signature Scene: Each arc contains one or more.
    • Introduction Arc: The heartwarming scene with Maka, Soul, Caius, and Claudia before going on to perform the story's first Joint Resonance.
    • Joint Resonance Training Arc: The other Joint Resonances.
    • Cobra Island Arc: The Kumbaya Circle, the scenes with the shadows, and Crona killing Medusa.
    • Chicago Gang: Tsuji vs. Walena, the battle against Project Omega's second form, and Maka vs. Cancer.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: The Cliché Storm that draws out the prologue is only temporary. Once Cancer and Project Omega are introduced, things improve. Once you reach the Cobra Island Arc, welcome to the ride.
  • Stoic Woobie: Marcellus Ardsen. He is the victim of Parental Neglect by which his parents put their interests and that of the Chicago Gang totally before his own. While he was still in Chicago, he often stayed in school for as long as possible so he wouldn't have to go what he thought was a prison instead of home. Unfortunately, he was powerless do anything more, falling deeper into despair as the days went by, constantly in fear of his safety and life. Though Nayumi eventually convinces him to run away, in the present-day, Marcellus is an emotionally repressed individual who keeps a mask of indifference, snarkiness, and nonchalance that belies the inner anguish he refuses to relay to even friends because he just doesn't want to. When it's his time in the story, favors aren't granted. Marcellus eventually learns he indirectly contributed to Tsuji's worsening condition (at the time), pushing him to suppress his pain once again and go back to Chicago with his folks. There, a series of events occur, including an attempted hit on his life spearheaded by Soriano to get Portis to react violently. His stoicism eventually breaks after Portis and Morgan sacrifice themselves in two separate occasions, showing they were indeed changed people who deeply loved their son even though he gave them the cold shoulder.
  • Squick:
    • An in-universe example. An ogre is devouring cow with enough noise to disgust Caius and Claudia. Then, it proceeds to slurp something with a wet and messy sound. The two are appropriately grossed out.
    • The Anria, in the rare chances that open their mouth slowly enough to let it happen, leak out black miasma. One of them pins Tsuji to the ground and tries to bite him, but he stops it with his bow. Said miasma pours onto Marcellus's weapon form.
    Marcellus: Oh, this is so unsanitary! Do something already!
  • Wangst:
    • Caius before the edits. Essentially, more appearances meant more chances to remind us he's antisocial and doesn't want friends. Fixed with the reedit.
    • Tsuji's Freak Out! might be a little too overblown. He does get better fortunately.
  • The Woobie:
    • Claudia Moncharmin didn’t start off as a DWMA student. She was a ballerina at a school in France, and it seemed like her life was already set. However, a freak accident regarding her Partial Transformation resulted in her expulsion. Thing is, she was trying to help out a friend being bullied. So, she gets kicked out for trying to do the right thing and has to leave her dreams behind. Not only that, it’s implied her parents’ rich lifestyle means they neglect her at times. During the Chicago Gang Arc, Claudia confides in Marcellus a sense of self-loathing derived from her feelings of inadequacy after having reality smack her in the face in the prior arc. She is, for all intents and purposes, a normal girl stuck in an environment full of abnormal people.
    • Nayumi Ardsen. Like Marcellus, she is the victim of Parental Neglect plus implied emotional abuse throughout her whole childhood. Her parents are infamous thieves who dragged her around with her on their heists. They even made use of her by teaching their tactics and then having Nayumi directly participate. At the tender age of 12, Nayumi is a jaded nihilist who believes life is pointless and fate is cruel, and she is also a broken girl who desperately wants some stability and normalcy in her life. Even in the present-day, it doesn't stop there. After Marcellus temporarily leaves the Academy for the gang, Nayumi reveals a deep, unhealthy attachment to him and a disconnect to everyone else, including her own partner Rowena, and regresses to her original personality because her whole world just shattered before her very eyes.
    • Tsuji officially counts after the Chicago Gang Arc. To backtrack, he and his sister were attacked by a Kishin Egg that tried to kill them in their sleep and continued on even after they awoken. Rosalind thankfully saved them, but the damage was done to Tsuji. His ten-year-old mind was traumatized by the near-death experience, and his coping mechanism was to repress the memories in the back of his mind, never to address them again, after he became a capable archer. In the Cobra Island arc, Medusa reintroduces the fear of death and helplessness to him, causing all of those traumatic memories to flood right back to the forefront. Tsuji goes through a period of depression, then high spirits once he unlocks the Enchanted Eyes, and then we learn the Curse of the Enchanted Eyes are using his mental weaknesses to lead him to death, influencing his behavior in the outside world. This culminates in him nearly dying of severe blood loss, especially after being forced to vomit blood during class. It is such a relief to see him back to normal after it's all over. (Tsuji zigzags between a normal Woobie and an Iron Woobie because he tries to do something at a few points despite his depression.)
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